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Civil War History using textbook, Ordeal by Fire, The Civil War and Reconstruction by James Hogue and James McPherson - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Civil War History Q1 However, only few of these factors played a significant role in bringing about defeat to the Confederacy in the American Civil War. Firstly, the North had superiority in terms of manpower and resources. The Union had a population of around 22 million people at the start of the Civil War, compared to the Confederacy’s population of 9 million…
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Civil War History using textbook, Ordeal by Fire, The Civil War and Reconstruction by James Hogue and James McPherson
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"Civil War History using textbook, Ordeal by Fire, The Civil War and Reconstruction by James Hogue and James McPherson"

Download file to see previous pages Secondly, the Union had a massive advantage in terms of resources. The South’s industrial output could not match that of New York alone, let alone the entire Industrial output of the North. Most of the heavy industries were concentrated in the North, including coal, iron, and woolen production, machine shops, and shipyards. In addition, the Union had far better infrastructure with several times the mileage of well-surfaced roads and canals, and twice the density of railroads. Shipping was a monopoly of Union vessels, and the South had only a handful of shipyards (Beringer, 1988). The third major factor was poor economic management. The Confederacy failed to export its stockpile of cotton at the start of the war before the Union blockade came into full effect. The revenues from exporting this cotton would have provided a sound financial base for undertaking a more effective war effort. Instead, the cotton was stockpiled or burnt. Moreover, the Confederate government chose to print money instead of levying high taxes on its citizens. This resulted in rampant inflation: prices increased 100-fold during the course of the war, devastating the economy and wiping out the savings of southerners. In contrast, the Union financed the war from bonds and taxation, maintaining a sound economy conducive for an effective war effort (Farmer, 2013). Q2 Reconstruction after the American Civil War entailed three major issues: the Social Problem, the Political Problem, and the Constitutional Problem. The policies and strategies adopted by President Andrew Johnson and the Radical Republicans after him were only partly successful. Johnson took up a soft stance towards Reconstruction. He solved the Political Problem and the Constitutional Problem, leaving the Social Problem to persist. Johnson unveiled his Reconstruction Plan in which each Southern state would be allowed back into the Union and has its war debts cancelled, if it withdraws its right of secession and swears allegiance to the Union. He supported the rights of states at the expense of a strong federal government, resolving the Constitutional Problem. As a result, this ‘forgiveness’ policy was successful at incorporating the South back into the Union. Johnson failed to solve the Social Problem regarding slaves by failing to address their issues regarding land acquisition and voting rights. He denied former slaves the right to vote because he believed the South should be managed by white men only (Peacock, 2003). The Radical Republicans solved all the three problems for a short period following the election of Ulysses S. Grant to the presidency in 1868. They introduced the 15th Amendment, which granted African Americans the right to vote as well as protection under the law. They passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867 which granted African Americans all rights of citizenship enabling them access to education, land, public office and equal opportunities, leading to rise in their socio-economic status. The Enforcement Act gave the Grant government power to enforce the Reconstruction Act. As a result, the Southern states lost the right to oversee Reconstruction, which the Federal government took over. However, most of these gains were lost since Reconstruction governments in the South created bitter opposition among Southerners with their harsh measures. Northerners were also growing tired of Reconstruction due ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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